Help WDW Fanatics Heading to DL!

Rebecca Kramper

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 11, 2016
Hi all!

our family has been to Disney World at least 15 times. We know what we’re doing there, don’t need maps, and know all the tricks. I fee clueless planning our upcoming Disneyland trip! Heading west in March 2020 for 9 days! We have 2 kiddos, DD will be almost 13-years and DS will be 18-months! Staying at Disneyland Hotel. What do I need to know?! Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated!!!

-Nervous Momma
 

GoingSince1990

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Focus on things unique to DLR. Ride Alice in Wonderland first thing (or second if you do Peter Pan) and zip through Mr Toad, Pinnochio, Snow White, Casey Junior, and the beautiful Storybook Land Canal Boats, none of which have FP. Nemo Subs also has no FP but tends to have shortish lines. Definitely do Pirates (also no FP) as it is far, far superior to the WDW version. For rides with FP such as Matterhorn and Indiana Jones it greatly helps, and we always find it well worth it, to buy Maxpass. You will have a great time, enjoy!
 

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  • MillauFr

    Buzz & Woody
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2011
    Blue Bayou restaurant is a unique experience. I would make a 11:30a reservation (first available in the day I believe). Show up at 11:10a to check in and request waterside seating. Food is nothing special but it is fine to dine inside of the Pirates ride.
     

    StarlitNight05

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2016
    Opt for park hoppers! A lot of WDW vets don't think its necessary since the parks are so far apart at WDW, but at DLR this is not the case. The two parks are within the same security zone and you literally just have to walk across the esplanade to get from one park to another. It provides so much more flexibility.

    Another tip is to make sure you have a list of things to do when its really crowded. Crowds are unpredictable at DLR and there isn't really a clear off-season anymore due to our large AP population. Our go-to attractions for busy days are: DLR - Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Tiki Room, Tarzan's Treehouse, Tom Sawyer's Island. DCA - Philharmagic, Animation Academy. If it's a colder day, the water attractions usually have low waits too (Splash & Grizzly River Run).

    Great choice on a hotel! I love DLH! Don't forget to check out Trader Sam's. You may even see a few of the Disney cats hanging around the hotel grounds.
     

    MrJT

    Collector of Mickey Merch
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2008
    Be prepared to walk...a lot! And have good shoes. While it is great that everything is so close, it means you have to walk everywhere! After three days, my feet were killing me, and it didn't help that I had great looking Mickey Mouse Vans on the whole time.
     

    zmpayne

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 7, 2019
    I was just in your shoes last month!

    I couldn't believe how much more I liked Disneyland (although I still love WDW!). Definitely invest in park hopper and max pass. Max pass is SO much better than FP+. Like the previous poster said, I would definitely take in a lot of the unique things to Disneyland. It felt so cool being in Walt's original park. I had a few people tell me I would be underwhelmed by Disneyland since I have been to WDW so many times. It's true WDW has more to offer, but the quality, the history, and the coziness of Disneyland was just so awesome.

    You will have a GREAT time. I wouldn't try to compare it to WDW. They are two different experiences and both are great in their own right.
     
  • azdisneylover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2008
    Magic Morning/Early Entry is a great perk when staying onsite. DCA is great because only the hotel guests are allowed in for Early Entry. With Magic Morning, anyone with a 3 day or higher ticket have one Magic Morning into Disneyland, in addition to hotel guests, so, there are more people in the park. Better than later in the day when the parks are crowded.
     

    Colleen27

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2007
    We did the same thing last summer - very experienced WDW vets, first trip to DL - and what amazed me most was how little planning was needed. MaxPass is incredible and SO much more user friendly than FP+, the quick service restaurants we ate at were really good and varied so we didn't feel like we missed anything by not wanting dining reservations, and we were amazed by how much we were able to get done each day.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Some threads with good information for you:
    * DLR Info/Links - Maps, Hotels, DISer Reviews, Hydroguy's tips, NEWBIE INFO here! -- from the sticky threads at the top of the first page -- SO much helpful information found here!
    From that sticky:
    A DLR Guide for WDW Vets -- a classic thread and a must read for you!
    HydroGuy Tips Compilation -- a treasure trove of helpful threads for you!
    From the above link:
    "Maxpass/Fastpass: an overview and some strategy" by @Skyegirl1999 - www.disboards.com/threads/maxpass-fastpass-an-overview-and-some-strategy.3726246/ -- DLR doesn't have FP+, we have MP -- read through this very helpful superthread, then ask all your questions there -- you'll get great help! Almost all WDW vets love MP the first time they use it and prefer it strongly over FP+.
    "Airport Proximity to DLR and Ground Transportation Information" by @3TinksAndAnEeyorewww.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2318297 -- ask all your airport and transportation questions here.
    March will have the Food & Wine Festival in DCA -- lots of fun!
    There is a Baby Care Center in each park (DL: opposite the Little Red Wagon and Plaza Inn, just off Main Street, before you get to First Aid) (DCA: between Cars Land and Ghirardelli's) -- these are so helpful!
    Before your trip, download the free DLR app and start playing with it -- make sure it works on your smartphone/s (some people report trouble on older phones) -- make sure you download the latest version (the app gets wonky before an update). Have a credit card on file so that you can get MP as soon as you activate your tickets at the gate (if you don't pre-purchase MP) and so that you can use Mobile Ordering.
    Look over the menus on the DLR website before your trip to narrow down which restaurants will work best for your family -- most WDW vets agree that DLR has better CS food than WDW, so don't worry too much about TS dining. That said, reservations open up about 60 days in advance (give or take), so if you want dining packages for shows, do some research ahead of time to know what you want and when. We recommend dining packages for F! (a better show at DL and the dining packages have the best views with the least wait time) and for WOC (if you can do the Dessert Party, it's a great treat!).
    Let us know if you have any more questions -- we're here to help! You're going to have a great trip!

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  • luvthemouse71

    Former Ride Chicken...
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2006
    Hi all!

    our family has been to Disney World at least 15 times. We know what we’re doing there, don’t need maps, and know all the tricks. I fee clueless planning our upcoming Disneyland trip! Heading west in March 2020 for 9 days! We have 2 kiddos, DD will be almost 13-years and DS will be 18-months! Staying at Disneyland Hotel. What do I need to know?! Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated!!!

    -Nervous Momma
    Same here. I’m excited to finally be seeing where it all began.
     

    dmar

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    The churros in DL/DCA to me are so much better than the ones you find in WDW. The WDW churros seem to be sitting in the warmer along with the corn, chimichangas, etc. The DL/DCA are crisper and usually they sell as fast as they heat them up. Make sure you try one out here.
     

    CastAStone

    Model Citizen. Reformed Mathlete.
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2019
    Nothing specific except to point out that DLR is SO MUCH better equipped for an 18 month old than WDW, enjoy the week!
     


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